Champs selects Fast Horse as PR agency partner

BRADENTON, FL: Foot Locker-owned athletic retailer Champs Sports has selected Fast Horse as its first PR agency partner following the launch of the brand's app-based online magazine.

BRADENTON, FL: Foot Locker-owned athletic retailer Champs Sports has selected Fast Horse as its first PR agency partner following the launch of the brand's app-based online magazine. 

Champs issued an RFP to find an agency to promote its quarterly e-zine called SWAG (Stylish Ways to Acquire Game), aimed at connecting with male teenage consumers, said Frank Bracken, VP of marketing at the retailer.

The review was narrowed to three finalists, added Bracken, who declined to name the other firms. He said the agencies were tasked with creating a project for SWAG, and Fast Horse's plan stood out. It is the brand's first PR agency partner.

Champs waited to see how the “working relationship went” with Fast Horse and how “the results from the project turned out” before naming it the brand's PR agency partner, said Bracken. 

“They were really successful in helping us get SWAG launched and out the door and generating a good amount of media and social media buzz for us,” he explained. The magazine debuted August 28.

Fast Horse helped to generate awareness for the app by engaging influencers, bloggers, and traditional media in a variety of sectors, including hip-hop, sports, fashion, and lifestyle, said Dave Fransen, director at the agency.

He added that Fast Horse also promoted video content for SWAG. Champs featured a video with Kevin Durant of the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder for the app.

“Guys in the [13-to-24-year-old] age range are always looking at videos whether on mobile devices, desktops, or whatever they have at their disposal,” Fransen explained. 

Bracken said that over the last two years, “Champs has been evolving its brand,” bringing on other agency partners, such as Zambezi for creative and PHD for media planning. 

Fast Horse, which is being integrated into the company's 2013 planning process, will work on both traditional and social media efforts for Champs as well as helping the business determine where it is seeing ROI.

“We want them to push our creativity and think about our core consumer and ways to engage them through any means necessary, whether providing a point of view on how to  amplify a traditional media campaign or generating ideas, content, and events that we can then use social media on to extend our reach,” explained Bracken. 

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